49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

January 26, 2014
Patrick Willis had surgery on thumb


Add Patrick Willis to the list of 49ers getting off-season tune-ups. The 49ers' inside linebacker had recent surgery on his left thumb and is now in a cast, as recent photos from his Instagram account show and as a league source confirmed.

Hand injuries have been Willis' Achilles' heel, so to speak. When he broke a bone in his right hand during a pass-rushing drill in July, it marked the fourth time since he was a junior at Ole Miss he has dealt with a fracture on that hand. He did not miss any games due to that or any of his hand injuries. However, he sat out two games early in the season because of a groin injury. It's not clear when the most recent injury occurred. Willis was not on the 49ers' injury report heading into last week's NFC Championship game.

Willis, who turned 29 on Saturday, healed and played better as the season went on, and he had 27 tackles and an interception in the playoffs. He was one of the eight 49ers who opted out of the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, presumable due to his injury.

Other 49ers who had or will have surgery include fellow inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman (ACL) and defensive end Ray McDonald (biceps tendon).

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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